I've been sitting on this quote for a long time, waiting for the right moment to share. I've come to the conclusion that said moment does not exist. The odds of stepping on someone's toes are high no matter the timing. I don't know that Allington ever worries about such things, so I'll let him take all credit for inspiring this post.
This last week one of my girls left town for three days. Her mom asked that I send home any work that she would be missing. I had to tell mom, "So much of what I do is hands-on. It's too hard to replicate, but thank you for asking." I couldn't supply her with worksheets or reproducibles of various shapes and sizes. I did tell her that I'd love for her to read and write. That's what we do, and that can be done anywhere. When I spy random worksheets left behind in copy rooms, I'm often struck by the thought, "Is there a better way to teach and practice that skill?" I don't have all the answers and Alllington would surely have some concerns about my own classroom practices, but I do believe there's a better way. And I don't think it's just because I teach little ones. I think there's a better way for 2nd and 3rd and 4th and so on. Allington's thoughts seem to imply that more books and less stuff is what is best for our readers. I would agree. So as a parting thought, maybe we should all ponder what goes home with our kids when they're absent. It sounds like something Allington wouldn't be afraid to ask.
Sandy Hook, you are not forgotten. May you have strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow.